Monday morning public safety message alert confuses residents

By: KKCO Email
By: KKCO Email

A Public Safety Message system alert sent Monday morning to notify residents of a low-flying helicopter that told people not to call 911 about the chopper, prompted many people to do just that.

Monday morning the Grand Junction Regional Communications Center sent out a public safety message to Grand Valley residents. The message provided them with information about a low-flying helicopter that will be flying over Xcel gas lines in our area.

Xcel officials say the helicopter will fly 50 to 75 feet above the ground conducting electronic gas leak surveying. The helicopter is expected to take to the skies Tuesday and Wednesday.

The message was an attempt to answer questions people might have if they see the helicopter, and to inform them there is no need to call police to report it. However, some people who got the message were confused and many of those people are calling 911 anyway.

Officials say the message was for informational purposes only and people who receive it should not call 911 about the helicopter. People who get the message will be prompted to push '1' to hear the message but they do not need to call 911.

If you want to sign up for the emergency alert, click the link below and follow these instructions. Click on 'Public Safety Alerts' banner at the top of the Web page, then follow the steps listed. You can decide how you want to get the messages: cell phone, work phone, text message, e-mail, home phone, etc. You can also sign up multiple times using different addresses so you know what's going on around your home, child's school, work, etc.

Officials say some alerts are geographically based. This means during an emergency, officials will select a certain area to receive the message while others are informational and are sent to everyone who signs up.


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  • by T.K. Location: Grand Jct. on Jun 15, 2009 at 09:58 AM
    I received the alert at work, and it was very clear and simple in describing it's purpose. Even though I have never had an alert like it before, it was a great way to communicate the issue, and it boggles the mind to think that people actually have been calling 911 when the whole purpose was to prevent that! LISTEN, people!
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